And Now Starring…Sandy Hu!

This is so embarrassing to share, but when I was a little girl, I used to pretend to be doing a food demonstration as I washed the dishes, stirring up suds and transferring it from bowl to bowl as I whipped up my pretend food for an imaginary audience. I wasn’t interested in the cooking; I just wanted to be the star!

Growing up in Hilo before the days of the Food Network, a simple aspiration was to be on the stage of the electric company auditorium where free cooking demonstrations were held. It was one of the places where I saw real people performing in front of an audience and I was hooked!

The utility company home economists, along with the University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service clubs for homemakers, played a huge role in disseminating recipes from Hawaii’s rich ethnic culinary cultures. It’s one of the places where my mom learned about recipes from other ethnic groups and replicated them for our family.

I don’t have to pretend to do demos anymore with soapsuds and dirty dishes. Dave and I, and our Special Fork guests, do them every week for Special Fork’s Video Friday. It’s not as easy or as glamorous as the pretend versions I used to do in Hilo. But I hope these videos demonstrate teachable moments and illustrate how easy it can be to cook a simple, delicious and nourishing weekday meal.

In tribute to the Hawaiian Electric Company, here are two of their quick and easy Korean recipes from a tattered brochure I found in my files.

Meat Patties, Korean Style
1 pound ground beef
¼ cup chopped onion
¾ cup day old bread crumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seed, toasted and crushed
1 clove garlic, minced

Put beef, onions and crumbs in a mixing bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients, pour over beef and mix lightly. Shape into 8 patties. Place on rack of broiler pan and broil 4 inches from unit in electric over 6 to 8 minutes; turn and broil about 4 more minutes or until done. (Note: we grilled the burgers instead.) Makes 4 servings. Adapted from a Hawaiian Electric Company recipe brochure.

Korean Watercress Salad
1 pound watercress
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons toasted sesame seed
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon sugar, if desired

Wash watercress and remove tough portion of stems. Cut into 1 ½-inch lengths. Place in boiling water, add salt and cook for 3 minutes. Drain, rinse thoroughly under cold water and drain again. Gently squeeze out excess water. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Chill. Makes 4 servings. Adapted from a Hawaiian Electric Company brochure.

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Posted: May 22nd by Sandy_Hu